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Bits: Virgin Azuma trains named, 0% balance transfers and no fee with Post Office credit card

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News in brief:

Virgin Trains names its new trains Azuma

Virgin Trains has announced the name of its new train fleet for the East Coast line – Azuma.

Currently being assembled by Hitachi in County Durham, they are due to come into service from 2018.  The trains will have the same 1-2 seating layout in First Class, pictured below, as the existing fleet.  

The top speed will remain at 120 mph until line upgrades are completed, albeit that improved acceleration is expected to reduce London to Edinburgh journey times by 20 minutes.

A variant of these trains will debut first, in 2017, on the Great Western line.

0% fee and 0% interest for 18 months on Post Office Money Platinum MasterCard

There are a handful of credit cards which are both FREE and have no foreign exchange fees on purchases abroad – Nationwide, Halifax Clarity etc – plus the Post Office Money Platinum Mastercard.

Whilst the Halifax Clarity card is marginally better than the Post Office one – because Clarity also has no FX fees on overseas cash withdrawals – there is a new reason to take a look at the Post Office card at the moment.

For a limited period, it is offering:

0% interest for 18 months on balance transfers, and

0% fee on your balance transfer

This means that you can move an existing balance from any other credit card, fee free, to the Post Office card and pay no interest until Autumn 2017.  You should definitely clear your balance at that point, however, as the representative APR is 17.8% variable.  This is NOT a card where you want to be paying interest.

More details of the Post Office Platinum card and this offer can be found here.

Want to earn more points from credit cards? – December 2023 update

If you are looking to apply for a new credit card, here are our top recommendations based on the current sign-up bonuses.

In February 2022, Barclaycard launched two exciting new Barclaycard Avios Mastercard cards with a bonus of up to 25,000 Avios. You can apply here.

You qualify for the bonus on these cards even if you have a British Airways American Express card:

Barclaycard Avios Plus card

Barclaycard Avios Plus Mastercard

Get 25,000 Avios for signing up and an upgrade voucher at £10,000 Read our full review

Barclaycard Avios card

Barclaycard Avios Mastercard

5,000 Avios for signing up and an upgrade voucher at £20,000 Read our full review

You can see our full directory of all UK cards which earn airline or hotel points here. Here are the best of the other deals currently available.

SPECIAL OFFER: Until 9th January 2024, you will receive 30,000 Membership Rewards points (convertible to 30,000 Avios) with American Express Preferred Rewards Gold. You receive 25,000 points if you spend £3,000 in three months and a further 5,000 points if you hold the card for 15 months. You can apply here.

SPECIAL OFFER: Until 9th January 2024, you will receive a huge 100,000 Membership Rewards points (convertible to 100,000 Avios) with The Platinum Card. You receive 75,000 points if you spend £10,000 in six months and a further 25,000 points if you hold the card for 15 months. You can apply here.

British Airways American Express Premium Plus

25,000 Avios and the famous annual 2-4-1 voucher Read our full review

American Express Preferred Rewards Gold

Your best beginner’s card – 30,000 points (TO 9th JANUARY), FREE for a year & four airport ….. Read our full review

The Platinum Card from American Express

Crazy 100,000 points (TO 9th JANUARY) and a huge range of valuable benefits – for a fee Read our full review

Virgin Atlantic Reward+ Mastercard

15,000 bonus points and 1.5 points for every £1 you spend Read our full review

Earning miles and points from small business cards

If you are a sole trader or run a small company, you may also want to check out these offers:

British Airways Accelerating Business American Express

30,000 Avios sign-up bonus – plus annual bonuses of up to 30,000 Avios Read our full review

American Express Business Platinum

40,000 points bonus and an annual £200 Amex Travel credit Read our full review

American Express Business Gold

20,000 points sign-up bonus and free for a year Read our full review

Capital On Tap Business Rewards Visa

Get a 10,000 points bonus plus an extra 500 points for our readers Read our full review

For a non-American Express option, we also recommend the Barclaycard Select Cashback card for sole traders and small businesses. It is FREE and you receive 1% cashback on your spending.

Barclaycard Select Cashback credit card

1% cashback and no annual fee Read our full review

Comments (27)

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

  • Alexey says:

    I hope this site will keep being focused on one specific topic – which is miles , hotel points etc , sometimes “less” is “more” so it is probably better not to post news at all when there is no real travel related news than to try be a site about “everything” which just would be a road to become many of the useless travel blogs around the web

    • Radiata says:

      HfP a pleasure to read. Insightful, illuminating and rather fun.

      Perhaps that any “deviation” from that thought to be good form met with sharp riposte a sign of love..

      Mildly OT, albeit on the cc front, Barclaycard today insist one can have both the HHonors and IHG cards simultaneously when I rang to try to switch to the latter..

      • Nick M says:

        Please let us know once you actually receive confirmation that your account is open – I’d like to go for the IHG premium but was turned down in Oct/Nov due to already holding the Hilton card

      • Rob says:

        Website says you can’t!

    • Fenny says:

      Long term 0% interest cards are entirely on topic. Last summer, I bought a new car. I took out 2 airline cards and split the £4k deposit between them to earn the elevated sign up bonuses, then immediately switched the balance to a 33 month 0% interest card, as soon as the points hit.

  • Raman says:

    I think a deal such as the PO cc advertised is apt for the site. We achieve points using credit cards, some readers may not as they should pay off their full balance each month, therefore this card would be a no brainer for those who have accrued a large balance be it from some normal shopping as well as for accruing points, this on the basis however that they pay off the full balance by the end of the 0% term and learn their lesson! It is also quite rare to get cc’s with no BT fees and 0% interest for a period of time!

    • Nick M says:

      I usually pay all my cards in full but applied for a 0%/0 fee balance transfer in Jan – spent as heavily as possible on my usual cards and transferred the balance rather than paying the statements for a couple of months… Now have 5k earning a bit of interest in the background… £200 or so – which seems reasonable for a sign up bonus.

      My credit score did drop off… If it seems to have a major impact/doesn’t recover then I can just pay the balance and see it as a lesson learnt, but my understanding was that it was good to use a proportion of your available credit?

      • Emma says:

        I do this too, my credit score shows as improving when I set up a standing order for £1 in addition to the minimum direct debit payment – as it doesn’t flag as ‘only making minimum payment’.

        The PO card is relevant for travellers due to the lack of fees for currency exchange, the 0% offer is worth noting IMO, especially if you have a couple of spending targets on at the same time and are buying vouchers/prepay cards to hit the targets so need some cashflow for the balance.

        Seconded that PO/Bank of Ireland customer service is terrible. When I had this card the only thing you could do online was apply – couldn’t even check a balance or get a statement.

  • signol says:

    Apparently Azuma is Japanese for East…

    • Genghis says:

      Yes, same kanji but different reading for the usual word for ‘east’, ‘higashi’

  • Neil says:

    I have had the PO card and service was dreadful..I have no idea why the Post Office associates itself with BoI – must have got a good deal I guess.

    • Rob says:

      The online service IS dreadful – you cannot pay your bill via the website and the transaction data is ‘thin’ to put it mildly. As long as you go with paper statements and direct debit payments you’re fine though. My wife has had one of these for a couple of years.

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

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